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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WALTON HEATH GC: OLD COURSE (Winter Card)
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2013, 03:58:55 PM »
Thomas

I know Beau pretty well and WHO just barely.  I would say the biggest difference is not what Fowler put in the ground, but how the courses are now presented.  Beau is quite congested with rough and trees while WHO is much more open despite not really being any wider except for around the greens.  If BD had WHO's maintenance budget I dare say they too wpuld create more space around the greens.  The misses at BD are potentially for more damaging.  Also, BD is far hillier than WHO and so it needs a bit of extra space.  

Bottom line, design wise, there isn't much between them, in fact I think BD may pip WHO.  But ya gotta go by whats happening now and based on that I think WHO is comfortably better.  However, because I know BD quite well, I prefer it, but I get the sense the course is being left behind in the current clear out sweepstakes spreading across England.  

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Neil Regan

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WALTON HEATH GC: OLD COURSE (Winter Card)
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2013, 01:17:15 AM »

Sean,

   Here is a link to a booklet published 13 years ago by the club.
They embarked on a heath restoration process which I believe continues today. The heath is improved, and so is the golf.
  I think many here on GCA will enjoy this read.


Caring for Walton Heath



Grass speed  <>  Green Speed

Michael Felton

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WALTON HEATH GC: OLD COURSE (Winter Card)
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2013, 11:24:33 AM »
Thanks Neil, that was a very interesting read. They are still working on heather restoration. The places they seem to struggle with it the most are just off the fairways because people spend quite a lot of time walking on it and playing shots from it. Consequently they frequently plant new heather along the edges of the fairways. It's worth it too. When the heather flowers, the course looks incredible.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WALTON HEATH GC: OLD COURSE (Winter Card)
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2013, 03:47:23 AM »
Neil

Thanks for the pamphlet.  The author(s) do a good job of explaining why heather is constantly at risk and why the environment requires diligent maintenance.  

Michael

Going back to the issue of the old pic of the 6th.  The 5th & 6th used to be par 3s.  Just before WWII they were combined to create the current 5th, thus requiring a new 6th and 7th (holes still in play).  That also means the 7th (in the old pic) is no longer.  The current 8th tee left of the 7th green was put in play when the M25 was built.  It is about half way down the original Fowler 7th.  

I think the current course has only six original holes remaining; 2-4 & 16-18.  Two other holes use original greens for slightly differently configured holes; 5 & 14.  However, I still think much of the course is Fowler as he was on the board when changes on the back 9 occurred - including the new 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 17.  I can't imagine he let someone else do the designing - can you  :D.  I think Tippet (the Sec after Fowler had a heart attack) designed the new 5-8.  Of course the 8th was changed later because of the M25.  I am not sure who was responsible for the new 8 & 9 in the early 70s.

In the mid 80s a plan to move the entire course to the other side of Dorking Road eventually fell by the wayside.  It meant scrapping the 1st, creating a new par 3 after the 10th and converting the short 11th into a par 4.  After a few years the members decided the new holes weren't very good and reinstated the old holes!  It was then that the first was made into a par 3 - the last major change to the course.  

Ciao
« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 05:49:04 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Michael Felton

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WALTON HEATH GC: OLD COURSE (Winter Card)
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2013, 07:47:58 AM »
Thanks Sean, very interesting. You can still see the remnants of the stray par 3 after the 10th (unless the maintenance holes have covered them). I must admit I'm not a fan of the 1st. Everything about it wants to be a short 4, but they had to change it for the road. Problem is I don't want to lose any of the other 17 holes on the course - especially not the 11th or 12th, which is where the space is.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WALTON HEATH GC: OLD COURSE (Winter Card)
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2013, 02:09:46 AM »
Thanks Sean, very interesting. You can still see the remnants of the stray par 3 after the 10th (unless the maintenance holes have covered them). I must admit I'm not a fan of the 1st. Everything about it wants to be a short 4, but they had to change it for the road. Problem is I don't want to lose any of the other 17 holes on the course - especially not the 11th or 12th, which is where the space is.

Michael

I assume any current plan to move lock stock and smoking barrel to the other side of the road would involve the New.  Though it is easy to see how the current winter set-up could achieve the same thing, but, the 12th would go.  All in all, I think its a good trade off (if they can get the house in the right position) plus it keeps the New intact.  I can easily see the winter 12th being a better hole than now and truth be told, the winter 13th to the 12th green is not a bad hole.  I sort of like the forced carry to the green - its a bit different for WHO.

What is your story - ex-pat?

Ciao  
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Michael Felton

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: WALTON HEATH GC: OLD COURSE (Winter Card)
« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2013, 07:54:00 AM »
Yep. I moved to New York about 6 years ago, so I'm an overseas member at Walton and Effingham. I started playing at Effingham and my family are all members there. I knew a lot of people at Walton through my school connections and given the opportunity, who wouldn't?

I have been playing the part of the itinerant golfer over here for 6 years and now that I know I'm staying I'm looking into joining somewhere over here too.

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